Monday, March 20, 2017

ReFoReMo Day 19: Danielle Smith Enjoys a Good Cry

Everyone enjoys a good cry now and then, right? Not only that, but there is a great need to tell stories that not only shed light on tough subjects but especially ones like death and illness. Children do not escape these tragedies sadly, but the wonderful truth is that there are many great resources out in the market today that highlight what can be done thoughtfully to help them through difficult times or perhaps simply open discussions. These are a few of my favorites that I often cite as comp titles for submissions as I feel appropriate and are also ones we have in our home that my children both love.
The Scar by Charlotte Moundlic and Olivier Tallec
A longtime favorite in our home, this story tells the tale of a young boy who has lost his mother in bright reds and loud bold fonts.  The emotion and feeling is clear from the beginning. Multiple readings have brought numerous conversations about where we go when we die, what happens to the people who are left behind and how do we not continue to be sad? Big questions for little kids, but they are ready and eager to talk about them! I promise!






Ida, Always by Caron Levis and Charles Santoso
A beautiful story based on a true event that again propels young readers to ask questions. This text begins with a beautiful friendship, but also delves into what happens when one of the two becomes ill. This could be applied to any relationship and isn’t featured in many books. What happens after the loss is also unique as the book shows the full arc and not just one side. Again, a beautiful telling of a heartbreaking yet also heartwarming story; a wonderful mentor text.




Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley
This is another stunning book about dealing with grief in a positive and actionable way that can bring hope and momentum back to a child’s life.  Because of the vagueness of the outcome of the father character it also provides the opportunity to reach more than one target audience; it could potentially reach those that are separated from their father due to divorce, separation, death or any other variety of reasons. A broad and far reaching book in the category.



Black Dog by Levi Pinfold
Oh, Black Dog, is a favorite of mine! It’s message about courage and fear is marvelous. Perhaps the best aspect is that the courage comes from the smallest in the family; that none of the others wish to tackle the large dog, but the smallest among them will go out and conquer! It’s a wonderful story about overcoming ones fears and triumphing despite the noise of others/world.








The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
If any on this list could already be called a classic, I’d venture to say The Heart and the Bottle, would be it. The story of a girl who experiences a tragedy so difficult she must lock her heart away in a bottle to protect it from the heartbreak she might suffer – just might suffer. Not only a beautiful way to help young and old help to recover from the loss of something deep and difficult, but also a filled with gorgeous illustrations to explore that help highlight the sparse text.





Scrawny Cat by Phyllis Root and Alison Friend
When I think of loss and discovery I almost always think of Scrawny Cat. When I first discovered Phyllis Root’s writing it was through this gorgeous book and truly hopeful story of a cat that has been misplaced. Homeless, foodless and alone poor scrawny cat needs nothing more than to be loved. What more do any of us need? The range of emotion and beauty in the text took my breath away, especially when accompanied by the stunning illustrations. I have to pinch myself now that I represent Phyllis as her literary agent.




All of these books deal with loss, grief, courage, hope or recovery in some form, but above all they have at their core…heart. Find the heart of your story and there you will find your true and most meaningful story. A good cry every now and then isn’t too bad either.

Danielle is giving away a 30-minute phone consultation to help one lucky ReFoReMo participant improve their query writing skills in April!  To be eligible for this prize, please comment on this post and strive to read mentor texts regularly.
Danielle Smith is currently an Agent and the owner of Lupine Grove Creative, LLC. Beginning January 2017 Danielle opened Lupine Grove, a boutique literary agency for children’s book authors and illustrators that also packages books for publishers. She began her agent career at Fuse Literary in 2013, but made the move to Red Fox Literary in March of 2014 where she represented children's book authors and illustrators alongside her mentors at Red Fox Literary LLC. Danielle is the mother of two wonderful children and wife to a practicing attorney.

159 comments:

  1. I am so so so far behind...but I am determined to catch up by tomorrow! And look...here I am the first one commenting on this post...that is definitely a good start!
    I love all of these books, Danielle...thank you so much...sadness and loss are such difficult topics to address...and great picture books really help young kids deal with the pain...that's why we want to write them! Studying these prime examples are a great way for us to learn how to write them.

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  2. Scrawny Cat and The Scar are new for me. But I do appreciate the other books for their ability to gently deal with tough subjects. I would add "Cry, Heart, But Never Break" to this list. These are amazing mentors and great insights. Thanks Danielle.

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  3. When a picture book story features a deeply emotional plot and evokes in the reader a heart-based response, the power of the message often endures long after the book is closed. Thank you for showing how of such stories touch the heart beautifully and for recommending a compelling list of mentor texts that illustrate this meaningfully.

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  4. Children need books like these to carry them through tough times. Thank you for the suggestions.

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  5. Great book selection. I can't wait to check them out!

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  6. It's been a tough year for my extended family, so I've been searching good books address some of the things that have happened. I had not heard of THE SCAR, so it moves to the top of my reading list! Thank you!

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  7. You selected some of my favorite titles. Boats for Papa is absolute perfection. Looking forward to reading Scrawny Cat. Thank you for such a thoughtful heartfelt list of mentor texts.

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  8. Very good selection of texts here. This hits very close to home as my 3 year old son passed away in 2013 and his younger sister (who is now 5) often talks about and asks questions about death and grief. We love Oliver Jeffers and I hadn't heard of The Heart and the Bottle so I'm looking forward to adding that to our list. Thank you for this post!

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  9. Writing with such sincere emotion, quietly, is difficult for me. I'll be reading these titles soon, so I can get better at it!

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  10. Boats for Papa is one of my favorites. To me, this is picture book writing at its finest. I can't wait to read the rest of them! Thank you for sharing this wonderful list of mentor texts!

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  11. Thank you for sharing these wonderful mentor texts about more difficult topics.

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  12. Beautiful examples of picture books that tackle difficult subjects, thank you.

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  13. I love these books and the complex topics they cover, but find them, and ones like them, hard to read to my own children out loud. What are your thoughts about the readership of books like these? Are they really for the grown-up?

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  14. BLACK DOG and IDA ALWAYS are two of my favs. I had forgotten about BLACK DOG and must reread. I love your commentary on all these books and how they cover difficult topics. TY, Danielle. Purr-fect picks.

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  15. Some new-to-me titles on this list. Thank you Danielle.

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  16. Thank you for the beautiful and helpful suggestions Danielle!

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  17. I'd only heard of one of these. Am grateful for these recommendations on difficult topics. Thanks, Danielle!

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  18. Such wonderful recommendations. Thank you so much, Danielle.

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  19. I could have used these with my own kids last fall. The k you for this list.

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  20. Great recommendations! Each does have a wonderful way of tackling a difficult topic. Ida, Always "always" makes me cry!

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  21. great books - of them all, I loved the polar bears and scrawny cat the best. But what a selection of heart-tugging stories!

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  22. I have read all titles except for The Scar and Scrawny Cat. All made me cry and all made me read them over and over. I have recommended them to friends for their kids who suffer loss. And all are mentor texts for me for two of my WIP's. Thank you Danielle for sharing with us books that bring out sad emotions and how we handle them. Great post!

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  23. I love these kinds of books, too! I've read a couple of these, but looking forward to reading/finding the others. Thanks, Danielle.

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  24. What terrific examples of heart and inspiration. They all sound wonderful. I am heading back to the library today for my next round of mentor texts and am praying these are all available. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  25. I need to get to the library to find this list of books you described with such heart that I'm already having a good cry.

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  26. These books are so important, haven't read the cat or dog ones yet- looking forward to reading them and being moved and inspired. Picture books are so powerful :)

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  27. I can't wait to reserve all these PBs at the library!

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  28. I have never read any of these titles but they are exactly what I've been looking for in terms of mentor texts. Stories that make my cry or pull at my heart are what drew me to PBs in the first place. Children--and all of us--need to know there is hope after great losses. Thanks for the excellent suggestions, Danielle. I can't wait to read these books.

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  29. Can't wait to read your suggestions. Thank you for realizing little ones suffer grief and sadness from time to time. Thanks for you post.

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  30. I wish my library carried all of these. Kids need to read books that show them it's okay to be sad and show their feelings. I'm going to try to read and study them all.

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  31. Thank you for showing us a PB can handle tough topics well.
    Maria Johnson

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  32. I read the heart and the bottle several weeks ago and it's still with me. thank you, Danielle for the thought you put into this blog.

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  33. Thank you for sharing. I wish my library had had more of these. At our house we have also used "Cry Heart But Never Break" as a discussion starter about loss.

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  34. Thank you Danielle. These are beautiful and several make me "ugly cry" every time! Thank you for the post.

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  35. So many good examples of picture books handling difficult topics. I've got a few new ones to try...

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  36. Excellent approach to very tough subjects. I have been working on ones on divorce and miscarriage. Thank you.

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  37. Love these books on challenging topics that, as you say, kids are ready and wanting to talk about. Thanks Danielle!

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  38. Kids are tougher than we think. I love that we have PB's that can help them deal with the emotions or questions they may have. Thank you Danielle for this post. I look forward to reading these books.

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  39. Wow!! I can't wait to get my hands on these mentor texts!! And...the thought that these ReFoReMo texts will serve as comp titles never dawned on me before...LOL...so, I thank you, Danielle!

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  40. Thanks, Danielle, for this important post. Heart is what matters most to me in my manuscripts. I need to go back and reread these.

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  41. These are all such moving books - wonderful mentor texts. Thanks for a great post Danielle.

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  42. These are such important books to have available and to know about! Super nice summaries on them!

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  43. Thanks, Danielle! What a great group of stories to search for the heart. Another of my favorites in this category is City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems and Jon Muth

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  44. Wonderful recommendations. Kids need these type books. I will definitely pick these up on my next library trip.

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  45. Looking forward to reading these great-looking mentor texts! Liz Tipping

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  46. I absolutely love today's 'A Good Cry' post for a number of reasons.

    First and foremost, Ida, Always is an absolute favorite of mine. I've read it multiple times, because it was just too powerful and too heartfelt not to (I work in NYC and am a very big animal lover, a supporter of animal sanctuaries and 'zoos' that are done right, in addition to someone who has studied training for animals and their ability to bond/love/understand). I've read Ida, Always at home on my couch with my dog on my lap, to my family members, to my critique group, and on my NJ Transit commuter train, and have shed a tear each time (Yes-even on the public train!) This book is amazing. It does a wonderful job through text and illustrations, and is incredibly heartfelt and true to the animal.
    Second, since I've jumped on this kid lit bandwagon and starting reading and writing picture books, I have been amazed at how many deep topics have been covered, and how many picture books have made me emotional and invested to the point of tears. To the point where I have to go back and read the book again. And again. And then renew it from the library once, twice, three times (maxing out my renewal allowance, ha!) because I just cannot bear to part with it. Jane Yolen has also done that for me a lot. She wrote a picture book about a beached whale who we watch die on the beach, and I found myself bawling like a baby at my kitchen table! And then there's Applegate's Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla- a wonderful way to show children (and adults) the facts about animal captivity. Again, me=crying.
    I am amazed at what these wonderful heartfelt picture books can do to us as adults!
    Third, thank you for introducing me to The Scar, Black Dog, and Scrawny Cat. I very much look forward to reading these (and having a good cry). They sound like texts that will be right up my alley, and Scrawny Cat I think will prove to be a good mentor text for me as I write about animal empathy.

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  47. This is a great list of mentor texts. Not only children, but all of us need books that deal with these difficult topics. Thanks, Danielle.

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  48. Fabulous mentor text recommendations for writing about loss, AND an absolutely amazing prize! Thank you, Danielle!

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  49. I haven't read all of these books yet. They will help guide me through a draft I'm currently working on. Have list, will library.
    Thanks so much for the post, Danielle.

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  50. I am in awe of how creatively these authors write about sad topics. Wonderful selections and thoughts, Danielle.

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  51. These are amazing mentor texts about difficult subjects!

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  52. DANIELLE: THANK YOU for sharing these book examples. If done just right, books can be a gateway to healing and dealing with hard emotions, as kids can put themselves in the characters' shoes or see themselves in the characters going through similar issues. It's SO IMPORTANT to have these books available, especially in today's world. I wholeheartedly commend those authors and illustrators who are brave enough to bring these works to life. THANK YOU!

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  53. Thank you, Danielle, for this thoughtful list of mentor texts. So much to learn!

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  54. Wow. A thematically powerful selection. Looking forward to reading these. Thank you for your post.

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  56. Danielle, I appreciate the reminder of the heart and strength that's in stories with challenging topics. These books are wonderful for kids and grownups alike!

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  57. Wonderful list of mentor texts for writing about difficult subjects. I still need to check out Ida, Always and Scrawny Cat. Thanks, Danielle!

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  58. What an intriguing new list! I will have my box of tissues ready as I read these (I have experienced IDA, ALWAYS already;)).

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  59. A great selection for dealing with difficult topics. Thank you, Danielle!

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  60. I love BOATS FOR PAPA as it is told in such a beautiful and hopeful way. And IDA, ALWAYS? Where's the tissue?! :)
    THE SCAR, BLACK DOG, THE HEART AND THE BOTTLE and SCRAWNY CAT are new to me. I'm looking forward to reading them. Thank you for the reading suggestions, Danielle

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  61. Thank you for selecting such wonderful titles. You've got to have heart!

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  62. Hi Danielle, thanks for this list. I look forward to reading these, especially The Scar. :)

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  63. BOATS FOR PAPA is a definite favorite of mine. It's such a beautiful story. I'm looking forward to reading the other recommendations. Thanks for your post.

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  64. Danielle,
    I'm a former therapist and i want to write one of these books. Thanks for these mentor texts.

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  65. What a wonderful list of books! These books can definitely help young readers deal with stressful and sad situations. I've always felt that kids are not the only ones to benefit though. Adults are helped just as much! Thank you!

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  66. Many children face difficulties and are forced to deal with heartbreaking circumstances. You listed some great books that children could use to deal with issues that they may not fully understand. Thanks for the post! - Alice Fulgione

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  67. Wow, what a great list to explore.

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  68. Thank you, Danielle, for these touching mentor texts. Loss of any kind is spiraling and not an easy subject to address with a child.

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  69. Most of these are new to me. Thanks for sharing them.

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  70. I have to say that books that make me cry are not my favorite, but I can't argue that they are powerful. This is a beautiful list of books.

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  71. Danielle is an amazing agent -- and I think the best is yet to come with Lupine Grove. I LOVE books that can comfort and heal without sacrificing story. They are great for kids in crisis, but also for kids who are curious about sharp edges of life. Can't wait to read all of these again!

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  72. Thanks Danielle for expanding our mentor list to include these amazing books. Sometimes quiet books are just what we need.

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  73. Ida, Always shatters me every single time I read it. What a gorgeous book - so truthful and powerful. While I'm waiting for the rest of Danielle's list to arrive at my local library, I'll be re-stocking my kleenex supply! Thank you for a lovely post, Danielle, and a good cry :-)

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  74. Thanks for a great post, Danielle. I can't wait to read these texts. Cindy

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  75. Lovely list. Thank you, Danielle!

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  76. I know IDA ALwAYS. It's emotional gentleness yet power connect without manipulating. Luckily, my library has 4 of the others. Just picked them up and have tissues at the ready! Thanks for this unusual and helpful list.

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  77. Thanks for this great list of books to help children during difficult times. They are gems!

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  78. What a wonderful recommendation list! I've only read two of these and look forward to expanding my base.

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  79. Thank you, Daniel. These texts will be great to study. I tend to avoid deeper topics, not knowing how to approach them. This will help.

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  80. Thank you, Danielle for giving us a wonderful selection of mentor books that exude heart and take on deep and sometimes complicated subjects. I'm sure they will help all of us learn to write stories that will bring a new perspective to some of these topics.

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  81. Picture books are often the best way to get in touch with feelings like this - for kids and adults. Thanks for the specific examples. So many good ones.

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  82. Thanks for this great post and the variety of mentor book selections; I am looking forward to reading these and sharing them with a grandson who has already experienced the breakdown of his parent's marriage and now the reality of his mom's (our daughter) cancer diagnosis is another hurdle for him to overcome.

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  83. Happily, I've read a few of these. Of course, I need to check out the others. The ones I've read though were great!

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  84. These stories, and the conversations that come from them, can certainly help those going through sad times. I can't imagine reading any of these to a child and not having a conversation. Picture books can heal. Thanks for the recommendations. Very powerful stories.

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  85. It's so important to remember not to shy away from these issues, emotions, and stories. You've mentioned some wonderful books. Thanks for embracing those and encouraging us to create more.

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  87. Thank you Danielle for your recommendations. Another one I love is "Bug in a Vacuum" by Mélanie Watt. Clever and perfect to understand the Kubler Ross stages of grief. Appropriate for young and old. I gave this to my father who was struggling with the loss of his ability to walk. I love that giving books like these can often say so beautifully what is in your heart. Look forward to reading them.

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  88. This is a topic that definitively needs to be addressed with kids and is so often avoided. Thanks for bringing these books to my attention.

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  89. Thank you for the suggestions. Boats for Papa is a favorite.

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  90. Thanks for the recommendations, which can help kids deal with tough topics. These will be great models. Sometimes the way to heal a heart is through a book.

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  91. Ida, Always definitely made me cry. The story tackles a difficult subject so beautifully! Another favorite of mine that does this is City Dog, Country Frog! Thanks for your list of similar texts. I plan to read them this week! Thank you!

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  92. Great list dealing with tough subjects. We've got to remember that children deal with these emotional events also.

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  93. Great post, Danielle! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on reading books that deal with tough subjects. Too often we sell children short and feel that they can’t deal with certain subjects, death for instance. In working with kids I have found that it’s the parents that can’t deal… the kids do just fine.
    Scrawny Cat is on its way! I just ordered it from Amazon

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  94. These books are so valuable for helping kids deal with difficult experiences.

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  95. Danielle, I really appreciated your list... such important books to pass on to others who may be grieving or suffering some kind of loss.

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  96. Hi all!
    This was timely for me as I just 'completed' recently a piece intended to help a parent/child with the loss of a grandparent.


    MichaelSamulak
    Cleveland Ohio
    www.michaelsamulak.com
    Follow on Twitter@MichaelSamulak

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  97. I get weepy just thinking about these titles. Great list, Danielle!

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  98. Thank you for this list of books that explore loss and fear. Picture books are quietly powerful in guiding and comforting children during difficult times. I have found comfort in them as an adult too. Thank you for your post.

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  99. These books are just what I've been looking for! Thank you Danielle.

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  100. Thanks for sharing these titles. I haven't read them all yet, but I will seek them out. Sadly, the Chicago Public Library doesn't have even one of these title! But the ones I have had a chance to look at are very beautiful and sad and hopeful.

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  101. Thank you, Danielle! Ida, Always is one of my mentor texts. I need to read Black Dog - love the cover art.

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  102. Thank you. Your post was insightful and the emphasis was well deserved. I especially like and appreciate your narrow focus and your persuasive and clear message.
    -Jenna Feldman

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  103. Thanks for your post! These mentor texts are perfect for a ms I am working on. Can't wait to read Black Dog and Scrawny Cat. Boats for Papa is heartbreaking and beautiful.

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  104. Thank you for bringing awareness to books dealing with loss! I have been a volunteer support group facilitator for 13 years at a children's bereavement center. We have a library of books at the center. I'm in the process of researching agents in the hope of publishing a book on loss that I wrote.
    -Joni

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  105. I loved Boats for Papa and cannot wait to read the wonderful suggestions.

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  106. Thank you so much for these recommendations! For topics so hard to broach with children, such as loss, picture books play a massively important role. By sharing these stories with children, we can make abstract concepts and difficult emotions into something that we can discuss and begin to understand. As a mother and writer, these mentor texts stand out in a very unique and important way. I so appreciate the insights that you shared with our community! Thank you.

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  107. Thank you for pointing us to mentor texts that deal with difficult subjects.

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  108. Thank you for your list of difficult topics. Carole Calladine

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  109. Thank you for these suggestions! I'm looking forward to reading Scrawny Cat and Scar. There is a special place in my heart for a book so powerful that it brings me to tears.

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  110. Thank you for the suggestions! I'm especially interested in reading Scrawny Cat.

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  111. Perhaps one day I will tackle one of these topics. I admire those that do. Thank you for the list to study!

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  112. These titles are filled with emotion that tug at my heart. Thank you, Danielle, for sharing this mentor texts.
    ~Suzy Leopold

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  113. Thanks, Danielle, for a great list of books that are too easily overlooked in the marketplace.

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  114. Danielle,
    Thank you so much for these mentor texts on this sensitive subject. Years ago while teaching, I lost a Kindergartener to bone marrow cancer. My heart has never been the same since. I have vowed to write a story in his honor, as he had the best smile and his love of books was infectious. Here's to inspiration!

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  115. Thank you for this post Danielle. Boats for Papa made me cry, it was so beautiful. I look forward to checking out a few more of these suggestions.

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  116. Thank you, Danielle. I do love a good cry myself, and I also love picture books that create a tender space for children to discuss challenging topics with a trusted grown up. I got behind in my library holds, but most of these books are coming soon and I so look forward to reading them.

    When I first read the notion of books that make you cry in the title of this post, I immediately thought of Jacqueline Woodson's The Other Side. I never could read the last page of that book to my son without getting teary. I'm getting teary now thinking of it. Those are different kinds of tears--for hope and human persistence. Well, now that I write that I see that does have a lot in common with the themes of the books on this list, just with a different topic. I always thought it was good for my son to see me getting teary and to talk about that a bit, too.

    I also think of The Ten Good Things About Barney by Judith Viorst, which was the first picture book I knew of that addressed death and grieving--and so beautifully.

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  117. Thank you for these suggestions! I haven't gotten them from the library yet, but I look forward to reading them.

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  118. I'm always amazed with the depth of picture books like these. Haven't read The Scar yet, and I may need to revisit Black Dog...thanks for helping us with the tough topics.

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  119. The Scar and Black Dog are both new to me -- looking forward to checking them out.
    Thanks Danielle.

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  120. Danielle, Your analysis of this particular group of picture books came at the right time. I recently completed my March draft revisions. It is a story about loss and starting over. You are my Book Fairy. Thank you.

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  121. I love books that make me feel so much I cry. What a wonderful list of mentor texts! I can't wait to read those that I don't know.Thank you, Danielle!

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  122. These are tough subjects, but books make such a wonderful way to open needed discussions with children. Thank you for your recommendations.

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  123. So many children need books like these at some point in life. I'll look for the ones I haven't read. Thanks, Danielle.

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  124. Thank you for the recommendations. I loved The Heart and The Bottle.

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  125. Thanks for these suggestions -- books like these are so hard to write well.

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  126. Thanks for the suggestions. I wrote a manuscript once about a child who has lost his father, my critique partners didn't really like it, said it was too sad. I just might go back to it and work on it again.

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  127. I have just started working on a book that fits into this category and wasn't sure how appropriate it was to write a picture book that was so sad. These will be great mentor texts. As I was reading The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers, I was so impressed with the short sentences used to describe such an enormous topic. I am finding my first drafts of my idea very wordy. I'll have to try revising with more simplistic sentence and page structures. Thank you so much for sharing. I can't wait to track down the rest of your recommendations.

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  128. Thank you so much for these wonderful recommendations! Some of the mentor were new to me also. These are the stories I'm inspired to write.

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  129. Beautiful stories on much needed subjects.

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  130. Fine posting. And a reminder that picture books aren't just for children. Many thanks.

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  131. I'm reading with a box of tissues. These are wonderful books, thank you.

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  132. What an amazing list. Thanks for sharing, Danielle!

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  133. I hadn't heard of many of these books. I just read Cry, Heart, But Never Break and was so moved by that story. Sounds like these mentor texts will do the same.

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  134. Beautiful books! Great selection.
    And, again, love studying the variety of illustration styles - and the perfect way the words and pictures blend in each story.

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  135. Love a good cry - and you never know where (or when) it's going to come from in a picture book. More often than one might think. Thanks for the great list of books - a few are new to me.

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  136. I love that all of these books inspire important conversations in a kid-friendly way. The authors and illustrators are extremely talented. Thanks for sharing your list with us!

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  137. Tears on my cheeks just from looking at the covers and recalling the emotion of reading some of these.

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  138. I haven't read ANY of these, and I'm very excited to check them out. Reading about these topics in the context of children's literature can be particularly challenging, but so essential to a strong foundation of mental health. Thanks so much for the list!

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  139. This is a wonderful list of picture books--I've read and love most of them. But for me, the big takeaway of this post is the idea that "Everyone enjoys a good cry now and then" applies to picture books, too. Never thought of it quite that way before. Thank you!

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  140. I've read three of these and I'm trying to get hold of the others to read. Thank you, Danielle, for this helpful post.

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  141. Thank you Danielle for a very good list of books.

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  142. All of these are new to me...I will read them with a tissue in hand!

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  143. Beautiful books that handle difficult topics so wonderfully. Thanks Danielle!

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  144. Sometimes we try to protect children from tragedies, but avoiding reality doesn't change reality. These books handles the tough tragedies of life in caring, gentle ways, opening the door for more conversation. Thanks, Danielle!

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  145. Fantastic book list, Danielle! Thank you for sharing your detailed thoughts on each.

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  146. I love songs and picture books that make me cry, a little bit. That are so deep and true and unavoidable...thanks for this list. Can't wait to read all of them.

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  147. Danielle – thank you for writing about tackling tough subjects. You have given us excellent mentor texts to work with.

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  148. I can't wait to rrad these. Thank you!

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  149. Vivian began the comments with how far behind she was - and here I am just catching up and it's over. Danielle, THANK YOU! These books are so needed and I've not yet been brave enough to go there myself. All on hold at my local library.

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  150. Beautiful recommendations which could be very helpful on one of my working manuscripts. Thank you!

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  151. Thanks for sharing, Danielle. I will check out these titles in the library.

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  152. So many wonderful books I didn't know about! Loss is one of the topics, I'm writing about. Thank you so much.

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  153. I generally avoid reading sad books, so thank you for forcing me outside my comfort zone! (And of course, my kid picked up The Scar and made me read it to her multiple times now...)

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  154. Again, another great post with some new PBs! Thank goodness for interlibrary loan. These are beautiful stories, thank you.

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  155. Thank you for these beautiful recommendations and your analysis of these books.

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